Canada is acting upon the shifting dynamics of student interests by forming a brand new esports league. Collegiate administrators throughout the world have been keen to partake in the growing tidal wave of enthusiasm in esports. Canada is following the trend of many countries that have already formed collegiate esports organizations.
Many US universities have already shown broad support for esports with the formation of the North American Scholastic Esports Federation (NASEF). In the United Kingdom, the British Esports Association (BEA) has developed a signature Student Champs series for participating universities.
Esports community aggregator, Harena Data, has recently announced the launch of the Canadian Collegiate Esports League (CCEL). This new organization will be providing a competitive video gaming league in partnership with Canada’s most forward-thinking universities. The CCEL aims to nationalize esports adoption among Canadian universities by creating a unified body to organize, manage, and lead collegiate esports.
The program will launch with 13 participating universities. Plans are to have more join in the very near future. The CCEL will kick off with a Rocket League Tournament on May 29th. The tournament will create the best experience possible by mixing social events with competitive games as schools battle against one another for reputation and prizes.
“The CCEL origins come from a simple fact, we are Canadian Schools and we know there is a unique Canadian voice and a uniquely Canadian perspective. We think the best we can give to esports is ourselves,” said Joni Richardson, CCEL Commissioner, and Intramural Programmer at the University of Victoria.
A list of participating universities at launch include:
- University of Victoria
- University of Windsor
- Dalhousie University
- Holland College
- Mount Royal University
- York University
- McGill University
- Simon Fraser University
- University of Regina
- Northern Alberta Institute of Technology
- University of Lethbridge
- University of British Columbia Okanagan
- University of Manitoba
Founded in 2017, Harena Data has developed GYO Score to be a data analytics, league development, and player management tool for the esports industry. GYO Score has helped facilitate over 200 esports scholarship offers and boasts more than 30,000 players on its platform since it launched in September 2019.
“It’s crucial for esports to have a central organization that brings schools together to play efficiently and competitively,” said Bill Dever, Chief Strategy Officer at Harena Data. “Canada is taking a major step as an innovator in the virtual world by embracing uniform, collegiate esports and we are proud to stand by these universities participating. We’re only going to grow from here.”